Saturday, July 30, 2016

Only The Lawyers Win

And don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those attorney hating folks. Yes, there is much wrong with our justice, both civil and criminal but lawyers are no worse than policians, police officers, plumbers, or anyone else who wants to stay employed and make money. We can argue the specifics but in general, I think that's true.

Then we get to class action law suits which, all too frequently, don't do anything except generate money money for a few money and for most of the "class", well, I recently received one settlement check, it was a credit for $1.34. So yeah, in general, class actions tend to benefit almost no one.

And then we come to this one...
The discontinued Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid is now the subject of a lawsuit alleging that its advertised 13-mile electric range is deceptive.
Filed earlier this month in Michigan federal court, the suit alleges Toyota misrepresented the Prius Plug-In's ability to achieve that range in real-world conditions, specifically colder-than-average climates. 
The suit was filed by Richard Rosenbaum, who bought a Prius Plug-In Hybrid in 2012 and is seeking to represent a class of affected Prius Plug-In Hybrid owners.
And I have to wonder if the "failure" quote will be part of the evidence against it?
 "We cannot say that the last generation, in terms of sales, was a success. I would have to say it was a failure," Toyoshima said of the outgoing Prius plug-in hybrid.
Ouch. Now you might have some direct insight into why most corporate communications are so meaningless.

Back to the Green Car Reports story...

The suit also suggests that the Prius Plug-In Hybrid will not operate in electric-only mode at all in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Toyota allegedly failed to highlight these limitations in its advertisements for the car, which constitutes a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, the lawsuit argues. 

Information on the 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrid posted on the EPA's Fueleconomy.gov website does put an asterisk on the Prius' electric-only range. 
According to the EPA, the Prius has an electric range of 11 miles, but small print notes that only 6 miles of continuous battery-only operation is available. The balance includes intermittent operation of the gasoline engine.
I will say this. This is one result of what appears to be Toyotas strong aversion to building an EV. The tepid first generation Plug-In was a good step but honestly, it probably should have never been anything but a prototype. It was obsolete, compared to the competition, when it hit sales floors in select states. Toyota might have been better to bring to market an actual competitive plug-in that, well, might not be the focus of a class action where the "real" six mile EV range was the central topic.

Apropos of everything and nothing, here's my review of the first generation plug-in prototype from 2010...